Quality in caregiving.

For more information contact usat post@rainbowtrekkers.de

rainbowtrekkers Junkersdorf

rainbowtrekkers Junkersdorf

Principal: Silke Blietschau
Deputy: Tiffany Garcia

Ulrich-Brisch-Weg 1
50858 Köln (Cologne), Germany
Tel.: +49-221-650 324 26

Kindergarten Concept Junkersdorf

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1. Structure

1.1 Location and contact details

The institution in Junkersdorf is located centrally in the Stadtwaldviertel (city forest quarter, formally Belgian Haelen Barracks).

1.2 History

The building complex in which our kindergarten is located was built in the 1930s as an army site for the German Army in cancellation of the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles on a demilitarized Rhineland. Towards the end of the war, forced labourer barracks were housed on the site. After the end of the Second World War until reunification, the site served the Belgian armed forces as so-called “Haelen” barracks. The area is still known by this name to many people in Cologne.

After the German reunification and the withdrawal of the Belgian forces, the new Cologne Stadtwaldviertel was built in the residential areas of the Belgian army members. The actual barracks buildings were listed as historical monuments and dedicated to social use and converted accordingly. We are glad and grateful that we are among the first tenants in history to be able to use the building for non-military purposes. The Cologne Sports Association and a facility for assisted living are still located on the site.

1.3 Number of places and age groups

In Junkersdorf there are 50 places for children aged 1-6 years.

1.4 Opening and closing times

Our regular opening times are from Monday to Friday from 7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Caregiving contracts cover 45 hours a week.

The opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 17.00 hours.

The institution has 27 closing days per year. These are usually spread over the school summer holidays (3 weeks), Christmas (approx. 1 week), Easter (approx. 1 week) and occasional bridging and further training days.

1.5 Registration

Registration is exclusively via the Internet portal “Little Bird”. If we can offer a free childcare place, we invite parents, whose childcare needs match our capacities, to a meeting.

1.6 Admission criteria

The demand is greater than the available places. Therefore, we decide on the allocation of places – transparent for all parents – according to the following criteria (in descending order of importance):

  • Siblings of the child already visit the receiving institution.
  • The child fits into the receiving group in terms of age.
  • Once the child has been admitted, the group will have a balanced gender mix.
  • The parents share the values and educational concept of the institution and declare their willingness to enter into an educational partnership.

  • Admission of the child contributes to the social and cultural balance of the group.
  • The family is new and without a family support network.

2. Spaces

2.1 Indoors

In Junkersdorf we have an interior space of about 550 square meters, all at ground level. While the multi-purpose room, the bistro, utility rooms and the rooms for the very youngest are facing Ulrich-Brisch-Weg, all group rooms open directly towards the outside area and garden.

The interior design by our pedagogical professionals aims to create an optimal balance between free play and educational activities.

The institution consists of three groups: the Bumblebees (approx. 10-12 one- to two-year-olds), the Butterflies (16-20 two- to four-year-olds) and the Dinosaurs (18-20 four- to six-year-olds).

The Butterflies’ group rooms are located in one wing of the building together with the multi-purpose room and the bistro, which are available to all children in all groups. The Dinosaurs’ and the Bumblebees’ group rooms are located in the other wing of the building. Each group has its own sanitary area.

Junkersdorf Innenbereich Kita

2.2 Outdoors

The outdoor area offers space for physical challenge and communal activities as well as rest and relaxation areas. There is a natural area with a maze, raised flower beds, trees and tepee. There is also a large climbing frame, a small playhouse, sand pits, swings and a balancing bridge. A sealed area in the middle can be used as a driving track for bobby cars and bicycles or as a common area for social events.

Junkersdorf Aussenbereich Kita

3. Materials

The age-appropriate educational materials offer the children of all three groups exciting and varied play opportunities. The majority of these play opportunities are freely accessible to the children to enable them to play independently. The regular turnover of the materials provides the children with new learning stimuli again and again.

Through play, children have the opportunity to let their creativity run free, to explore the environment and to actively engage with it. The children gain new experiences and make new social contacts.

This effect is especially achieved by the free play of the children and is encouraged and supported by the pedagogical professionals.

Some materials can only be found in the designated functional spaces, such as various instruments in the music room and movement material in the multi-purpose room.

4. Activities

In Junkersdorf we follow the educational approach of home groups within the framework of a partially-open concept. The home groups enable the children to move around at certain times within a rather closed system and to open the doors at certain times. For the children, opening means getting to know and exploring their institution with all its functional rooms across groups.

Throughout the day, activities or even projects are offered that are adapted to the needs, situations and the individual development level of the children.

4.1 Pedagogical work

Based on the children’s interests and on event-related educational situations and circumstances, the pedagogical professionals work closely in teams to develop topics for the children that can be integrated into the annual cycle and that are based on the existing curriculum.

In this way, we ensure that the children can engage with different traditional, cultural and social topics over the course of a year.

In close cooperation between the pedagogical staff, the principal and the administration, pedagogical contents are developed, current processes are jointly reflected and if necessary adapted.

A regular early music programme gives the children access to music, rhythm, singing and movement in a playful and fun way.

The perception of one’s own body and movement are elementary educational areas in daily work. Through a wide range of activities, the children are given the opportunity to sensitise the perception of their bodies and to live out their urge to move. For this purpose, they have access to the outdoor area as well as the multi-purpose room.

Junkersdorf Kita Pflanzen

4.2 Daily routine

The daily routine in Lindenthal offers the children structure and security. The times can vary slightly depending on the groups. The same applies on days when special activities take place (excursions, projects, etc.).

In order not to interrupt the daily routine of the morning circle, we ask all parents to bring their children to the kindergarten by 9.30 am.

07.30Opening of the kindergarten
07.30 – 09.30 Breakfast/ Arrival
09.30 – 10.30 Morning circle
10.30 – 11.30 Pre-school/ Free play/ Activities/ Walk/ Garden time
11.30 – 13.00 Lunchtime
13.00 – 15.00 Quiet time/ Sleep time
14.00 – 14.30Fort the older children: puzzles, reading, drawing
14.30 – 15.00 For the older children: free play
15.00 – 15.30 Snack
15.30 – 16.30Free play/ Activities/ Garden time
16.30Closing of the kindergarten

4.3 Participation

Everyday pedagogical life in Junkersdorf is organised under the aspect of participation. The children are involved in the daily decision-making processes by the pedagogical professionals.

Both the design of the premises and the pedagogical activities are carried out with the interests and needs of the children in mind.

4.4 Inclusion

The institution does not currently care for children with special inclusion needs. However, this is possible in principle.

The institution is largely wheelchair accessible.

4.5 Nutrition

Our kindergarten is catered by a local catering company, which prepares lunch fresh and delivers it warm every day. The meal plan, which changes weekly, is put together and balanced in a child-oriented way. Breakfast and healthy snacks for between meals are provided by the pedagogical professionals.

The menu at rainbowtrekkers is vegetarian. In the selection of food and the composition of our meals, the caterer follows the recommendations of the German Society for Nutrition (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung).

5. Transitions

Transitions are a challenging developmental task for children, which we sensitively structure and individually support in our kindergarten.

At the beginning of the kindergarten period there is always a settling-in phase, which is based on the Berlin Model (you will find more details on the subject of settling-in in the Framework Concept).

After one or two years in the Bumblebees group, there is a change to the Butterflies group and from there, after about two more years, to the Dinosaurs group. These internal transitions are gently designed and individually planned and prepared by the pedagogical professionals.

Because the institution is run on a partially open-plan basis, a child who is moving to a new group is usually already familiar with a large proportion of the employees and other children in the new group from cross-group activities in the building or outside, which further facilitates the internal transition.

5.1 Pre-school support

The transition from kindergarten to school is a milestone in every child’s life. One of our goals is to prepare each child for school according to his or her development. In the last year of kindergarten, the pre-school children in Junkersdorf take part in a bilingual pre-school program within the Dinosaurs’ group, which is jointly designed by multilingual professionals.

The development of the children in relation to their ability to go to school is especially observed, documented and regularly reflected upon with the parents. The “pre-school year” is a challenging and exciting time for all those involved, which makes close cooperation with those involved all the more important.

6. Cooperation

Our kindergarten cooperates with the Ildefons-Herwegen-Gemeinschaftsgrundschule, which is also located in Junkersdorf. The cooperation offers the possibility for children to gain a first impression of the school system and to exchange their skills and competences and to prepare them for starting school.

The cooperation with an international or English-speaking primary school is still under construction at this particular institution.

Meet the principal: Silke Blietschau

My name is Silke Biedermann and I am the principal of the rainbowtrekkers center in Cologne- Junkersdorf. I am born in Minden in Ostwestfalen, where a large part of my family still live, including my three adult children. I live with my partner in Cologne.

After my schooling, I first took the profession of chemical laboratory assistant. My own children and the contact to many other young families aroused my interest in child development and socialization processes. Therefore, over 15 years ago, I decided to study Social Education.

After my studies I gained experience in various fields. As a director of a project for early help for young families, in a language and reading promotion project, as a coordinator for a family center and as a kindergarten principal. I have been practicing this function for many years now with great pleasure.

It is important for me to have an open ear for all young and old people who are part of the kindergarten environment. I am happy to be a motivator or supporter for children, parents and team.

It is also important for me, in cooperation with all team members, to create spaces and opportunities for children in which they can develop individually as well as live out their exploratory urges. A good partnership with the parents is an important prerequisite for the children to feel safe and secure in order for them to pursue this exploration urge.

Stellvertretende Leitung: Tiffany Garcia

Hello! My name is Tiffany Garcia and I am the Group leader of the 4-6 year olds and the Deputy
Director at the Rainbowtrekkers Junkersdorf kita. I was born and raised in Oakland California, and I’ve
been living in Germany for 5 years with my partner in Frechen with our two rabbits Luna and Popsicle.
I’ve been part of the Rainbowtrekker family since 2016, starting at the Widdersdorf kita and then
moving my way to the Junkersdorf kita in 2018.
I received my Associates degree in Early Childhood Education, and later my Bachelor’s degree in
Human Development with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education, and finishing off with my Master’s
degree in Early Childhood Education with a credential in Early Childhood Special Education. Overall, I
have 20 years of experience working in the Early childhood field.
Being in Germany, I have had numerous opportunities working with a variety of multicultural
families, establishing safe and trusting relationships between parents, children, and colleagues. I feel
honored to bring my expertise into the Rainbowtrekkers kita’s and I have enjoyed my time thus far, and
look forward to my continued growth both personally and professionally.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading, dancing, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
So, if you see me in the hallway, please be sure to say hello! I’d love to get to know you

rainbowtrekkers Junkersdorf

Principal: Silke Blietschau
Deputy: Tiffany Garcia

Ulrich-Brisch-Weg 1
50858 Köln (Cologne), Germany
Tel.: +49-221-650 324 26

Kindergarten Concept Junkersdorf

Download PDF

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